• Introduction
  • Philosophy & FICCS
  • Instructional Approach


“I would highly recommend Sardinia Italian Studies. I was fortunate enough to work directly with the director/founder of the program, Giulia Grosso. I came to her program as a complete novice to the Italian language and after two weeks, I left with a solid base of comprehension of the language. She catered my course to my level and needs. The course content was varied and taught in an experimental and holistic manner. This made my experience richer and allowed me to have a deeper understanding of the Italian culture. Taking Giulia’s course was the best decision I made to start my semester abroad. I left more confident and able to adjust to the Italian way of life. I would love to return to the program and learn more. Giulia is not only a wonderful professor, but an amazing person. She went above and beyond to help with my transition and welcoming me to her country.  Grazie Mille Giulia! “

Kayte, USA, September 2015

“I attended a one-week course in Cagliari with Sardinia Italian Studies in August 2015. I had planned to study in Italy for a semester and thought it would be a good opportunity to jump-start my language training before school started. I studied 4 courses of Italian during my undergraduate studies, roughly 3 years ago, but forgot a lot of what I learned since I didn’t practice. As far as the Italian classes go, they were tailored to my individual level. Depending on the class size, you’re able to personalize your lessons or just go with the teacher’s flow. They give you small placement tests to gauge your level and plan the lessons accordingly. I took lessons with both Giulia and Cristina. They are both very intelligent professors and care about the student’s progress. Classes are taught in Italian and really helped me prepare for my semester with Siena Italian Studies. Because I participated in this program I was able to quickly adapt to classes and my host family (that doesn’t speak any English). Overall, I would highly recommend participating in any of Sardinia Italian Studies’ programs because it gave me the confidence I needed to get through everyday life in Italy.  It’s worth every penny and a great deal. I would’ve done the 2-week course if I were able to leave the States earlier!…”

Adrienne, USA, September 2015

“I have been extremely satisfied with my lessons at Sardinia Italian Studies. The teacher was both very qualified, passionate, friendly, flexible and innovative, which simply made it a pleasure and not a duty to study.”

Juliane, Denmark,  June 2015

Philosophy & FICCS

Language and culture make up an inseparable binomial, who can really say whether it’s culture that generates language, or language that generates culture? This is the basis of Siena & Sardinia Italian Studies’ version of full immersion: Culture, Content and Service (FICCS ).
For us, full immersion is a gradual and unforced process of discovering a new culture through continuous and constant exchanges with locals, a coming to awareness of the multiple linguistic and cultural capacities around us and within us.

The overall objective of full immersion at SIS is for each of our students to begin to recognize and activate these capacities, and to develop a reflective intercultural competence, which will allow him or her to function as a global citizen capable of facing and interacting with different cultures throughout the course of his/her lifetime with awareness and sensitivity.

There are courses for every level of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages of the European Council, with levels from beginner to advanced. The lessons take place in the morning or in the afternoon, from 9 to 1 am or from 2 to 6 pm with qualified mother tongue teachers, and they are combined with other activities with teachers and language partners, young Italian university students who support our students inside and outside the classroom in social and entertaining activities.

Instructional Approach

Sardinia Italian Studies uses different teaching approaches in order to make Italian language and culture lessons exciting and innovative for students.

1) FICCS: Full Immersion: Culture, Content and Service. Siena Italian Studies, our main partner, has worked since it’s beginning in 2004 towards the development of reflective intercultural competence in its students. In this effort a number of instructional techniques and approaches have been employed. This approach has resulted in a European project, Euficcs, that has been co-financed by the European Union through the Lifelong Learning Programme – (Key Activity 2 Languages), and has been implemented for three years (November 2011 – October 2014). It aims at enhancing the motivation and capacity of language learners to study a foreign language with the use of an innovative common methodology that will be elaborated by the consortium and applied to the learning of Italian, Spanish and Portuguese as second languages by students, interns, workers and other young people or adults going to Italy, Spain and Portugal for a study, training or working experience.

2) Our teaching method is based on communication. Students actively exercise the fundamental functions of the language. Central attention is given to conversation and pragmatics, in order to develop students’ abilities to express themselves and communicate in Italian from the very beginning of the course. The method includes the study of the rules of pragmatics, syntax and grammar, lexicon and phonetics.

Our teachers

Our mother tongue teachers are highly qualified and they all hold a university degree plus relevant qualifications in education – a postgraduate diploma or a PhD. The teaching staff is continuously trained through a life long learning programme on the most up-to-date teaching methodologies. The teachers are regularly evaluated through satisfaction questionnaires filled in by the students.

What we offer in addition to the course: activities outside the classroom

Sardinia has got a Mediterranean climate, usually with mild and warm winters, autumns and springs and dry summers. Winds from Northwest, such as Mistral, and from Africa, such as Sirocco, also influence Sardinian climate. In every season you can enjoy warm, sunny days in which the temperature is around 26 – 27 degrees, ideal for outdoor activities, such as:

– guided city tours of Cagliari and its historical and artistic heritage;

– visits to the food market of San Benedetto;

– cooking lessons;

– kayak excursions;

– half day guided archaeological excursion to Monti Prama’s Giants and other archaeological sites;

– trekking on the wonderful “Sella del Diavolo” hill in Cagliari.

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